Your training routine is only one component of the equation when attempting to lose weight and gain muscle. Indeed, exercise and training do have a significant impact. However, knowing what and when to eat provides more effective results. For example, you don’t need to carbo-load if you’re attempting to lose weight. And, if you want to bulk up, timing your protein is critical.
To lose weight, you can’t starve yourself. To burn calories requires calories. Like driving your car, it needs gas to go, and your body needs calories to move. What your body doesn’t need are excessive calories. For instance, it’s about making healthier choices like eating chicken, carrots, potatoes, and broccoli and not eating things like pasta or macaroni and cheese. It’s a big difference.
Caloric restriction and eating less is not the answer. Instead, it’s about eating smarter and better.
Understand how protein, carbs, and fat are used to build muscle and lose weight.
Many individuals believe that protein is used only for post-workout recovery. However, you can strategically utilize it before and during your workout to gain muscle.
When you consume protein, you initiate a process called protein synthesis. This simply refers to the process of producing proteins. Therefore, your body gets ahead of your training results when you drink or eat protein prior. The proteins that are present before a workout begin the rebuilding process as you exercise.
And, when you drink a protein shake during your training in small amounts, it continues and sustains the rebuilding process.
Afterward, post-exercise in the recovery phase, protein synthesis will continue to be stimulated, helping you to build muscles quickly.
A secret tip to building muscle.
Drink 20 grams of a protein shake 45 minutes before working out in the gym. A protein shake absorbs quickly and does not cause cramping. Drink another 10 grams midway through your workout. After your workout, have your protein meal or drink another 10 grams of protein shake. In this manner, proteins will be produced continuously to build muscle instead of waiting till after. It is more effective!
Proteins are not supposed to be used as energy. Instead, they are used to rebuild.
To build muscle, consume about 1.5-2.0 grams per kilogram of your body weight daily. If you want to preserve muscle without building, consume 1-1.2 grams.
Carbohydrates are the preferred energy source when it comes to training. There are two different types of carbs.
These carbohydrates are used for quick energy. They require 30-60 minutes to be absorbed and prepared as fuel. Therefore, simple carbs are appropriate for brief workouts or those that last less than 60 minutes. On the other hand, complex carbohydrates are not required for training for less than 60 minutes.
Eat carbs like fruit to provide instant quick energy.
These carbohydrates deliver a slower, more sustained energy source. Unfortunately, it takes about two hours to prepare them as fuel. So, timing is key. Use complex carbs for more strenuous and prolonged workouts, lasting between 90-120 minutes. Complex carbs deliver more consistent energy over a longer length of time.
Eat carbs like vegetables and rice to give you more sustained energy.
Consuming fat with meals before exercise is not recommended. Fats break down more slowly than carbohydrates. Therefore, your body will not break down and absorb the fat in a timely manner. Fats need 4 to 6 hours to be ready and used as energy. Therefore, there is no purpose in ingesting it to gain energy, build muscle, or lose weight for your workout.
Training that lasts up to 3 hours uses carbohydrates, not fats. This is because the body has a sequence in which it uses energy. First, it will burn simple, switch to the complex, and after complex, burn fat.
2-3 Hours Before Training- A meal is ok.
Make sure the meal is 60 complex carbs, 30% protein, and 10% or less is fat.
- Grilled chicken sandwich with vegetables.
- Eggs with toast and vegetables.
- Grilled chicken, burger, or fish with rice and vegetables.
1-2 Hours Before Training
The meal needs to be somewhat condensed. Foods must be simplified and easy to eat and digest. At this time, fats should be little to none. Instead, eat 60% complex and 20% simple carbs and 20% protein.
- Whey protein smoothie with milk, granola, banana, or fruits.
- Granola or oatmeal with milk.
- Peanut butter and jelly sandwich (more toward the 2-hour mark).
One Hour to 30 Minutes Before Training
Food needs to be very condensed. Meals or snacks need to be easily digested to break down—no fats in this time frame. Fats in this time frame can cause cramping.
A smoothie or a blended drink is best.
- Protein shakes with a banana and mixed fruits.
- Oatmeal or granola with some milk and fruit.
- Yogurt and fruit.
To be more specific with your energy, 1-2 hours before your workout, consume 1 gram of carbohydrate per kilogram of bodyweight.
Remember, the denser the food, the more time you need before training.
For more exercise, health, and nutrition information, check out the Balanced Body.